Saturday, July 9, 2016

A kirk for my Saxons

The Nothelm Chronicle inspired me to copy him and make a Saxon kirk from the Dapol (ex-Airfix) village church.  I didn't do any assembly photos, since the church is pretty simple.  However, it's HO/OO scale and too short for 28mm.

To bring it up to 28mm, I added 1/2" of sheet rockwork to the bottom of the church all around. In a marvelous example of serendipity, I had a Plastruct rectangular tube that exactly matched the width of the columns cast on the church. I only had to cut them to height and depth with a razor saw. I did a little filling with Squadron Green Stuff. and then painted it.  The roof was thatched with funny fur (a.k.a. teddy bear fur).  The cross is a jewelry piece painted to look like weathered wood.

Here are some photos after I based it.  The thatch is a bit darker than it photographed. The figure is a Wargames Factory Saxon for scale.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday at Bayou Wars 2016

We arrived around 9am after the usual terrible traffic in Baton Rouge. (A seven-car pileup completely closed I-10.)  We set up our dealer's table, and I began to set up for my 2pm game.

Chris Swearwengen arrived and we stumbled through our first game of Dragon Rampant. I took us a while, as neither of us had played before.  After a hard fought battle, my Undead defeated his orcs by a healthy margin. Very enjoyable, even had I lost.

At 2pm, we started my game of Defend the Kirk, Saxons defending against a Viking raid. Here's the table before the start of the game.
If it's not obvious, all the buildings except the 2 4ground buildings on the far edge, are paper, as is the Viking ship and the marshland near the river.  The watchtower and wooden keep are an old set called Stronghold from Microtactix.  All of the hovels, the kirk, and the longhouse were all designed in Model Builder.  The roofs were covered with funny fur to us Yanks, teddy bear fur to you Brits.

Almost all the Viking and Saxon warriors are plastic Wargames Factory figures.  The women are a mix of Old Glory and other manufacturers. The rules were Swordplay 2016 by Two Hour Wargames. I made a few mods to fit the game, since it is intended for small actions of 4 or 5 figures per side.
Players in the game were, left to right, Josh Switzer and his son, Richard Allen (Viking commander), Bob Kelso (Saxon commander), Harman, and Michael Hayman. At the table to the left background, facing the camera is Steve Wirth, who was nice enough to lend me his livestock, as I forgot mine. Facing the camera at the right hand table is Jim Pitts.

The Viking advanced from the ship, and were seen by a bowman in the watchtower, who sounded the alarm.  The Saxons were slow and cautious in reaction, allowing the Vikings to swarm around a couple of houses before beginning to plunder.
Since there were Saxons of lower Rep inhabiting the hovels, most of the men therein were killed and their women taken as plunder, though a good number of women were able to successfully flee.  As GM, I was not able to photograph the game as meaningfully as I would have wished.
Saxon warriors begin to advance, as the Vikings begin to plunder. The Vikings have fired a house, which alerted the countryside, as did the incessant ringing of the kirk bell!
Saxons begin to advance around the tavern.
Vikings violate the kirk, downing Brother Caedfel and the other clergy along with a woman who had sought sanctuary there.  There was a berserker in the kirk who had no thought other than the death of all Saxons on his mind. Of course, there was the chest of gold church items to be taken by other Vikings.
More Saxons come in from the countryside.
As others advance to stop the Vikings.
Saxons advance cautiously near the watchtower.  For quite a while, only 2 Vikings had fallen, one wounded by a Saxon hut dweller, who paid for it with his life, and another to an arrow from the watchtower. They stayed out of range after that.
A Viking has entered a pen to make off with some livestock, while others make off with a woman and her naked child.
Vikings flank a field near the river, perhaps intending an end run.
Saxons have trapped 2 Vikings in a hovel, where they have killed the husband and captured the wife. A naked berserker has come to their aid.
The bloodiest fight took place over the chest from the kirk, changing hands a number of times before all the Vikings attempting to take it were killed.

Melees rage across the table!  By games end, the Vikings had lost half their men, captured a few women, some livestock, and food.  The Saxons made an attempt to fire the longship, but the Viking guard put it out. The Saxons had failed to defend the kirk, losing all the clergy, but recapturing all their relics.

We decided that the Viking warlord would return a hero, since his lone ship defeated over 1,000 Saxons, captured all their women, and defiled the kirk. All those who died were already drinking mead with the gods in Valhalla..

The Saxons had defeated 5 longships of vicious Vikings, killing hundreds of the scum.  However, they had to face the shame of being unable to defend the kirk, from hundreds of heathen berserker madmen who slaughtered the clergy and those who sought sanctuary there.

 Would the bishop kindly send more clergy to see to the souls of the departed and tend to his flock, battered by heathens?

 And, Eorl, we humbly submit that we might be a little low on our just portion of our crops that we happily render to you, through His grace.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Red Ops 5: Asylum Part 3... and nekkid wemin

I've finished 2 more gangs, the Chainsaw gang and the Franken gang, and here they are!

First up is the Chainsaw gang, and it's obvious why they are so named.
The figures on both ends are the same figure, but they have interchangeable heads. I looked at a lot of chainsaws on Google, and found that the blade that carries the chain is pretty plain.  That makes sense, as they are always up against the edge of the cut.  The figure on the left has a welder's helmet, blue jeans, and a dark wifebeater. The lower arms are cast as a separate piece with the chainsaw.  This gives great grip, but a bit strange around the elbows. The second figure is more nattily (?) dressed with a t-shirt and pants with a pocket chain.  One arm and one hand are molded with the chainsaw and must be glued to the figure.  Pretty good fit.
The monster in the center has his two arms separate with the chainsaw molded with his right hand and arm.  The arms fit into the armholes quite well.  I anticipated a lot of trouble getting them to fit but was pleasantly surprised. He pretty obviously is not adept with his chainsaw.  All his exposed flesh is covered with nasty scars. A very impressive figure!  The last figure is wearing a motocross helmet.  Note that his shirttail has come untucked.

Now we have the Franken gang.  Obviously, some weird stuff goes on in the labs on the island of Artigo.
On the left, we have Hamlet, addressing Yorrick, who seems to be replying!  His arms are of two different sizes, and he is stitched up on his abdomen, and has metal pieces covering his backbone.
Next we have the first pieced together boy.  I had a lot of fun painting different skin tones at each joining. A real Frankenstein monster!
Next we have the fellow doing Tai Chi.  He also has different sized arms, is stitched up the front and has metal covering his backbone, or perhaps it is his backbone.. It reminds me of a joke by a long-gone comedian, Chris Rush, which I won't explain. And the final construct.  I went with metal staples fastening the parts together, and pale blue plastic for kneecaps and other parts.

All of these gangs are covered in the upcoming add-on to the rules.

And some GW topless barbarians from 1985 & 1987!  They were named on their slotta tabs.

They will be added to my barbarians!

Finally, two more Amazons, who were misplaced.  So easy to paint, other than their shield design.

About all you can do with painting these figures is give them different shield designs, hair, and skin tones.  I know others might go wild with tattoos, but I'm not that guy. And yes, per James Bond, the collar and cuffs match!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Red Ops 5: Asylum Part 2

Here we have the next two gangs I've assembled and painted.  There is no particular order in which I'm doing these: just the next two ziplock bags out of the box.

First up is the Mean Streets gang, so named on as yet unpublished update to Red Ops 5: Asylum.
I took these to be lab workers infected by the virus, so the guy on the left with the baseball bat is painted as a scientist in a white lab coat, and the lab dweeb uniform of Hushpuppies, and various tans for the rest of his clothes. He was painted in my usual block painting and brown wash, as were all of the rest. The next guy has to be an orderly large enough to handle crates, etc.
The third figure from the left is a lab supervisor, mindful of the lab dweeb colors.  He should have had a lead pipe, but I had just seen Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, an Aussie zombie film on Netflix, so he got a nail gun like the "hero".  I would give it Range 4", Target 2, Impact 1. And last, I read as a security guard.  The figure has rank badges and and insignia on his Ike-type jacket.  I painted a dark stripe down the side of his pants, though it's not visible here.

Now we go to the Merc-Hunters gang, also mentioned in the above update. Before I got that, I termed them survivors.
The first figure is the greying self-proclaimed tough guy with two pistol, one held in a modified gansta grip. He has a knife point-upwards on his chest.  A really nice touch is that the straps on his holsters are separated by air from his hips.  I considered that a really nice touch.  The R-D on the back of his vest is from the movie Re-Kill.  Just can't get enough of zombie movies! My wife immediately called the nest guy, John Henry, the steel drivin' man! His arms were separate at the shoulders, and gave me a hard time connecting.  I finally pinned and filled the joints, but that was the 4th try! He's a very dynamic figure.
The escaped convict is next.  He's a really nice single-piece figure, and the chains are nicely cast. And finally, the modern gladiator(!). I figure he either collected the helmet and shoulder armor, or found them while looting. He then made up the rest of his armor as he found it, including motocross boots. I love his trash can lid shield.  He come with a number of weapons, but I liked the circular saw blade in the automobile part handle (at least that's how I saw it).

Coming up next: the chainsaw gang and the Franken gang!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Red Ops 5: Asylum Part 1

I joined Rebel Minis Red Ops 5: Asylum kickstarter, and received my package pretty quickly.  The pledge level was reached very quickly. The figures are available at Rebel Minis, but as of this morning, the rules are not up.
Rebel Minis Horror Packs

In my box are 2 d6, a translucent ruler, the rule book, and 7 gangs with an additional 2 creepy children.  Rebel Minis acquired this line of 28mm horror miniatures from Comfy Chair.

If you are familiar with Two Hour Wargames ruleset Chain Reaction: Final Version, you'll have no problem with these rules.  The rule set is digest size, printed on gloss paper, center stapled and easy to follow. Pages 4 - 8 provide background with a history of Artigo Island. There are pictures of some of the miniatures well-painted (in b/w) sprinkled through the rules.  Weapons are modern with what you are likely to find on the island.  It's basically civilian combat, so no RPG's or HMG's.  However, flash bang grenades and molotov cocktails are accounted for, as are body armor and shields(!).

With further emulation of Vampifan's great blog, Vampifan's World of the Undead here are the first 2 gangs of 4 that I have finished.
First up are the men in black.  You'll notice that mine are in very dark blue.  I don't like painting black.  The two outriders are dressed in suits with ties, and firing pistols.  Both have neatly trimmed facial hair. the center schmoos have two power-fists each. The way in which the powerfists are cast make them fit the figures' arms quite well. I don't think any door or vehicle could stand against them.  I painted them neatly and used a thin black wash to accent the figures.  The bases are painted with a dark brown highlighted with a tan.  Then I added clumps of winter grass from Woodland Scenics.
I think they represent the company men very well.  I glossed their shoes and belts, and semi-glossed their pistols.

These are the Pig Boys, a really grungy group.

They have knives, and sawed-off shotguns.  The giant in the center has an enormous communication device. Their belts are hung with pig trotters and snouts. (Amazing how many pictures you can get if you Google "pig trotters") I seldom add blood to my figures, but they kind of demanded it.  For some unknown reason, I took it into my head to paint the giant as an albino. The smudges on their aprons and the leader's belly are Reaper Pro Paint Brick Red.  I painted it on thinly, as I wanted a more stained look.  The two figures with the outstretched knives have a separate left arm from the elbow down.  Here is the only niggle I have with the figures. Separate parts have little location aid and are difficult to pin.
The figure on the left had a separate shotgun to add to his shoulder belt.  The figure on the right didn't come with one, but had the hole in his back for one, so Wargames Factory Female Survivors donated a double-barreled shotgun whose barrels I clipped.

Overall, I'm happy with the figures. There are some more vague fittings that I will cover in future
posts. As I finish 2 gangs of 4, I will post them, and I post them individually on my Facebook page.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Painting 30 tanks in one day (10mm, of course)

First, do a lousy job of cleaning them up a couple of weeks ago.  Pendraken do have some mold misfits that are impossible to file down without changing the shape of the turrets.

They were all primed with WalMart cheapo grey primer, with which I prime everything.
They were then sprayed with Tamiya AS-24 Dark Green (Luftwaffe).  The machine guns were painted flat black and the ends of the exhaust pipes in charcoal grey.

The louvers and grills were washed with P3 Armor Coat, and everything below the fenders including the front and rear glacis plates were painted with Plaid Apple Barrel (Michaels M20389) Spice Brown. If a little splashed over the fenders and glaci, so much the better!

The tanks were then hand numbered on both sides of the turret, and the rear, not standard practice, but to make the individual tanks easier to identify by the player. Checking a lot of wartime photos showed that as many tanks had two-digit numbers as three-digit numbers. That saved painting 90 digits!

Once that was dry, the entire vehicle was washed with my dark brown wash, made with the Magic Wash formula.

Now for the juicy bits, the photos.
The entire group, ready for action.  The photo was taken, hopefully, by a Soviet reconnaissance aircraft.
The IS-2's.  Not much to say, except that the barrels are supplied separate from the turrets.
The T-34/85's.  You can see the mis-molding on the turret sides that are impossible to remove without changing the shape of the turret.  It's not too noticeable on the table.  There are 15 of these.
T-34/76's. The same hull is used for all T-34's. It would have been nice if the 85's had been molded with external fuel tanks, but, oh well. There are 10 in my force.
The SU-76's.  There is a surprising amount of detail on these tanks. There are indications of the ammo racks in the interior, and the gun block has enough detail for you to know what it is.. There are only 3 of these poor, under-armored souls in my force. They seem to be a bit large in comparison to the other Soviet vehicles.

The entire force consists of 2 IS-2m's, 3 Su-76's, 10 T34-76's, and 15 T34-85's.  30 tanks.  How did I arrive at these quantities? Blame it on Two Hour Wargames "Hell Hath No Fury".

It is a fast-play, tank only set of rules.  The rules only have US and German tanks, but there are free updates for Soviet and UK forces.  The time is D-Day to the end of the war.  There are only the tanks one is most likely to run into. The rules can be played solo, head-to-head, or players versus non-player forces.
The proportions are derived from the scenario, of which there are 10, mission forces.

AT Bayou Wars, the will be fighting 20 German tanks, also determined by the scenario mission forces.  There will be 6 StuG-III/G, 3  Panthers, 3  PzkwIII-M, 7 PzkwIV-H and 1 Tiger 1.  Last year's US vs. German was a fiasco, with the US tanks being neutered within the first 20 minutes.  Luckily for this GM, there were 2 souls who took a platoon of PzkwIV-H's vs. a platoon of M4-76's and played for an hour or so.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NSFW - Nude Amazons + touch-ups.

I got these Amazons on eBay a while back.  They were badly painted and chipped.  I removed all the paint with Super Clean, a purple degreaser available from auto parts stores.  It won't harm plastic or resin.  BIG caveat! Be sure to wear plastic gloves, because it will remove all the natural oils from your hands, and really dry them out. A very little work with a toothbrush after soaking for a little while removes the paint easily.  It may take a second soak in the same liquid to get completely through the primer.

The figures were painted with a variety of skin tones, and then washed with various flesh and brown washes, a single wash to each figure.  The metal parts were painted with IWM Bronze Metallic. The horse hair crests were painted and then washed with a very thin black wash. The shield designs were painted after referring to Thomas Hopes "Costumes of the Greeks and Romans", a Dover press book.

Once they were painted, and their bases flocked, I sprayed them with Armory Matte.  Once they were dry, I coated the metal and shields with Liquitex High Gloss Medium.  And gave their hair a coating of Pledge with Future. I find their faces a bit anime for my tastes.  There also were very deep mold lines that were impossible to remove in some cases.  Good enough for the table.

Here are 4 more of the painted "fantasy" rabble figure I bought painted a while back. I just touch them up and spray them with a dull coat, and cover the things that should be gloss with Liquitex. I see I need to do eyes.
And last, this figure has been languishing, painted, in among unpainted lead since Katrina (2005), So I finally took pity on him, touched him up and recoated his base with clumped static grass.
I figure him for an escaped lunatic who overpowered his guard and took his uniform and gun.
T-t-t-that's all folks!